Ladies, there is a battle going on among us within the church that must stop. It is a subtle, often unspoken, division of ranks that destroys our sisterhood in the body of Christ. It is heartbreaking and ministry-depleting. Yet, even though it’s often unspoken, it is deafening.
I’m speaking of the battle between working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Both groups play the victim to one degree or another. Both groups feign superiority to varying degrees as well. Both groups are wrong in both areas. I don’t have to give examples. If you’re a woman, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
We have forgotten that we are one body in Christ. Ephesians 4:1-3 implores us to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This verse leaves no room for question about how unified we should be.
The Church’s Purpose
Each of us have a calling and a purpose on this earth. Ephesians 3:8-12 teaches that the manifold wisdom of God is now “made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Careful study of Ephesians teaches us that the “rulers and authorities” referenced in verse 10 are evil forces. (See Ephesians 2:1-2, 6:11-12) Ephesians 3 then goes on to say in verse 11, “This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,”
So then, the church’s ultimate purpose — the thing that we are left on earth to do — is to make the glory of the Lord known so obviously that even the evil forces in the “heavenly places” (meaning, the spiritual realm) recognize the “manifold wisdom of God.”
How on earth can we do that if we are busy fighting about our respective callings as women?
Each of us was given a divine purpose that was planned out before the foundation of the world. Because God chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-4), He also chose our kingdom work. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
My purpose is lived out as a stay-at-home mom. But your purpose might be lived out while working outside the home. Neither of us is any more — or less — holy because of our vocation. What matters is that we are led by the Holy Spirit to the purpose GOD calls each of us to individually. We must be led by the Holy Spirit speaking through the Word of God alone. Not our culture. Not our wallets. Not our guilt. Not our traditions.
God is sovereign and divinely appoints the sphere of influence we individually need to be the most effective and useful FOR HIM.
There are no cookie-cutter Christians. We are all to look, talk and act distinctively like Christ in very specific ways. But God gives each of us a unique opportunity to accomplish that task in a way that will most glorify Him and effectively grow us.
Ladies, let’s cross the battle lines of stay-at-home mom versus working mom. We are sisters, NOT competitors. Both roles can be used to utterly glorify God. We are not defined by the roles we fill. We are defined by the God who fills us. Likewise, we cannot look at another person and define them by the roles they fill. We must see others as Christ sees them.
I’ll leave you with one final encouragement. If, after reading this, you feel God tugging at your heart to possibly change your role from one category to the other, take it before the Lord and before His Word. If you want to hear His voice, you have to be where He speaks. He speaks between the pages of Scripture. Pray about it. Search the Scriptures. Pray with your husband about it. Then DO the thing God is calling you to. As Ezra was told in Ezra 10:4 “Arise . . . be courageous and act.” I pray His Name is glorified through your work, no matter what work you do.